Nigeria’s music veteran Oladapo Oyebanjo, better known by his stage name Dbanj is dancing to the tune of scrutiny and social media backlash over rape allegations that were levied against him in 2018.
According to reports, Dbanj is being accused of using Nigerian police to silence alleged rape victim Seyitan Babatayo, who revealed what had happened to her while in a hotel room back in December 2018 on social media.
The scandal began when a friend of Seyitan Babatayo by the names of Benjamin Ese, a model scout, went to Twitter and told everybody about how Dbanj had raped his friend at Glee Hotel in Victoria Island, Lagos.
Later on that day, Babatayo went to Twitter and responded to the allegations giving a detailed description of the story and what happened to her while in her hotel room that night.
According to her, Dbanj gained entrance to her room while she was sleeping at the hotel and raped her after she had turned him down at a party earlier.
“So I slept off within 5/6 am and please note (I’m a naked sleeper) and woke up and found Dbanj in my room already and I asked him what he was doing in my room he didn’t say a word and *asked if I was a baby* and started fingering me,” she said in her tweets.
“I went ahead to threaten him that I was going to shout. He said if I shout I’ll leave the hotel naked, Dbanj raped me.”
Oladapo, who remained silent for a while responded later on to the tweets via his Instagram telling his fans that the allegations were false and “lies from the pit of hell.”
Police are currently pursuing the claims into the allegations and Dbanj could face jail time if they’re proved true
After the allegations came to light, the music star through his lawyers Mike Ozekhome Chambers also demanded Babatayo to pay N100m as compensation and also a letter of apology. She was also asked to retract her statements which would be published in four national dailies.
However, the events leading to the current situation took an unexpected twist when on Wednesday, June 17 Babatayo was reportedly arrested by policemen from Sodipo Command, Ikeja. Her lawyer Olamide Omileye of Ojoge, Omileye, and Partners, alleged that she was forced to delete her tweets on the rape allegation while in police custody.
“They forced her to make those new tweets when she was in custody. They forced her to delete all her tweets and intimidated the hell out of her life,” Olamide told Premium Times.
However, the Lagos State Police Command revealed on Thursday, June 18 that they weren’t aware of any arrest and its not recorded anywhere. Babatayo also came out to shade more light on the incident and said she hadn’t been arrested.
“I don’t know where all these rumours are coming from. My self and my mom were not and have not been arrested,” she said on Twitter.
What pissed off many fans is that when the incident happened, Babatayo who was allegedly missing at the time, a tweet on her account that read, ‘a yet-to-be-released record by D’banj’ was sent out leaving many confused and infuriated.
None the less, there are those who still claim to have knowledge about the incident and still insist that she spent Wednesday night in police custody and D’banj is allegedly trying to bully and intimidate her.
“I just spoke to @seyitannn_She’s ok now. She was arrested and had all her things seized & left in a cell with criminals,” media personality Dorcas Shola Fapson tweeted on Thursday.
“D’banj’ team pressured her into those tweets & threatened to leave her in prison if she didn’t recant the allegation.
“D’banj told Seyitan that he has paid his lawyers 25m & she doesn’t stand a chance against him. The poor girl is scared & obviously doesn’t have the money/resources to fight this.”
“Seyitan is fine everyone. She just wants to be alone, gather her thoughts together and recover from her overnight experience in @PoliceNG ’s cell. Thank you so much for your calls, advocacy and support,” gender activist Oluwaseun Ayodeji Osowobi also said.
Whether the reports are true or not, the alleged use of police to bully and silence people like Babatayo has gathered a lot of media attention raising suspicions among the community about what is really going on behind closed doors. Meanwhile, the incident has brought a lot of attention on D’Banj whose career and name hangs in the balance of being ruined.
Such cases where young women and men came out to report rape cases against music artists tend to be silenced and deserve more investigation so as to find justice if the allegations are true.
As of now, the music veteran is seen as the villain on Twitter with many attacking him including reports of certain organisations threatening to cut ties with him as the brand ambassador. A petition on change.org addressed to the United Nations and United Nations Women Africa organisation to remove the musician as a youth ambassador has been signed by more than 13, 000 persons according to Pulse Nigeria.
Source: Pulse Nigeria
Author: Allan Bangirana
Allan Bangirana is a freelance writer for Newslibre & Spur Magazine. He is passionate about tech, games and occasionally writes about entertainment, lifestyle and so much more.